Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Have some sense

When someone comments on my rather leisurely gait in consuming a meal, I tell them that "I like to enjoy my meal with all five senses, so it takes longer." While I say it in jest, there's a deeper principle involved that applies across the board.*

The principle involved is this: worshiping God is an earthy experience, meaning it's not just a mental attitude or heart orientation. We worship God with our bodies, too (Rom. 12:1). And because God gave us five senses, it only makes sense that we should use five senses to worship Him. If all of creation testifies to God's glory (Rom. 1:20), this must include our little senses as well. In giving us these earthly bodies, God made them look and function a certain way. The nose smells things, the eyes see things, the ears hear things, the tongue tastes things, and the hands touch things. Jesus was born into flesh and blood, and he had five senses with which to glorify God.  So we must glorify God with our senses. It can be done, and it must be done. But how?

We were given the senses so that we might experience things. And scripture speaks of the senses as a way to experience the goodness of God. "Taste and see that the Lord is good" (Psalm 34:8). "Hear the word of the Lord..." and so on. Read John's vision of the new creation, and you will discover that it is a reality of sensory overload. We will use our new bodies (and their senses) to experience the presence of God for eternity. So the ultimate purpose of the senses is that we might fully worship of God.

In the here and now, though, our senses remind us that God created everything in the universe, and that this universe is upheld by the word of his power (Heb. 1:3). When we see a sunset, smell a flower, taste good food, touch the rough, course dirt, or hear the rain pounding on the roof, we experience the kindness of God in creating and sustaining these things for our enjoyment. And His kindness is meant to lead us to repentance (Rom. 2:4). But repentance doesn't end with merely turning your heart away from false worship. True repentance redirects our entire beings to true worship of the living God. So it stands that, rather than for worshiping the created things, our senses exist as a means to worship the true God by experiencing creation in thankfulness and gratitude. You don't give your compliments to the meal for being tasty; you give your compliments to the chef for crafting something so enjoyable. And so it is with us—we give thanks to our Father in heaven for creating such wonderful things for us to enjoy, with all of our senses.




* Pun alert: the "board" is what they used to call the table in pre-Renaissance England, where people sat on the floor and placed their meal on the board. So, when I say it applies "across the board" in reference to the previous thought, I give a little chuckle. It's interesting where our phrases come from, isn't it?

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Evicting the squatters...

Part of our regular prayer of confession needs to include the deep desire for God to clean all the lies off of us, and then to get inside, and root out the lies that have taken up a squatter’s residence in our souls. Our confession should ask the Spirit to come in and evict them all.
Doug Wilson 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Proper nourishment for the roots

The thing about scripture is that it is always getting to the root of things. (Heb. 4:12-13). This is obvious once you understand that (1) God is concerned with the root of your heart's worship, and (b) from the root springs the fruit, either good or bad. For this reason Jesus constantly hounded the Pharisees for their religious practices, which sprang from unbelieving, unrepentant hearts. This is also why God rejected the sacrifices of His people in Jeremiah: outwardly they gave lip-service to God, but inwardly they loved their sins.

It is not surprising then that the Bible teaches us much about the root problems and their effects. Sometimes it even mentions roots specifically, which is a double-win. We should pay attention here. One of those "let's-talk-about-roots-for-real" places is in Jeremiah 17. Drawing off of Psalm 1, Jeremiah paints a picture of two different roots; an antithesis, if you will. First, the bad root:
Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes his flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the Lord. He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land. (Jer. 17:5-6).
That the curse springs from man's trust in his own flesh (as opposed to in the Lord) is fairly obvious here, but the nature of things is clearer once we see the curse in relation to the blessing. Jeremiah continues:
Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is in the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of the drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit. (Jer. 17:7-8).
What we have here is an explanation of the relationship between a person's root and the fruit thereof. One is a curse, the other is a blessing. And as it always is with roots, there's not much middle ground.

All of this, of course, can be traced back to the ages-old battle against self-idolatry. Either we are rooted in God, the fountain of living water, or we are rooted in ourselves, a parched place of wilderness. A life rooted in the fountain of living water will continually be a blessing to those around it, even in times of distress. The leaves remain green, and the fruits of the Spirit keep growing. There is nothing that can destroy the man whose roots are planted in the living waters of Christ. Nothing. The man who trusts in himself, however, worships himself as his own provider. He will become a shrub in the desert, a blessing to no one. Eventually he will wither and die.

This is a promise and a blessing. The blessing comes from the Lord, and it is promised to those who plant their roots in Him, the fountain of living water. We would be foolish to plant our roots elsewhere.

Monday, January 21, 2013

A short preview...


The things that the Bible promises to the church are the things that we currently have. Like the Holy Spirit—He dwells within the church body (2 Tim. 2:14). We have the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God (Eph. 6:17). Swords were made to be used for something. And when it is all said and done, all that sword-using and Spirit-dwelling culminate in a beautiful feast in Heaven, an inheritance guaranteed by that same Spirit that dwells in us (2 Cor. 5:5). All of these images are realities that we live in every day, with the greatest reality yet to come. Everything under the sun is part of The Story. Think about that. And then go act like you believe it; the power is real.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Complainers and idolators

Yesterday Steve Timmis gave a rousing sermon at Sojourn Community Church on "evangelistic dynamics of missional community." I think that was the official title. Honestly it was one of the best sermons I have heard preached from Philippians 2. And the guy didn't even prepare notes. Some people...

While I was on board with everything he was putting out there, a few ideas really hit my gut, worked their way up into my head, and disassembled themselves there. So here we are, ready to sort and send down to the heart, where hopefully they will nestle.

"Be who you are." That's what Steve Timmis said. I think Lady Gaga said it too, but the way Timmis said it was different. Worlds apart. Lady Gaga told us to be whatever and whichever because, well, baby you were born that way. What Steve Timmis meant was that, as Christians, we were created to be a certain way, too. But instead of rugged individuals pursuing our own identity, we were created to be a family, with a given identity in Christ. Paul put it this way: 
...complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing out of rivalry or vain conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus . . .(Phil 2:2-5).
The one mind. The same love. Full accord and of one mind. How can we accomplish these things? How do we unify our mind and put our love in full accord? These things were given to us by Christ. "Which is yours in Christ Jesus." Don't fool yourself by thinking that you will be the ultimate uniting force of the church. You will only divide. But don't think this unity of heart and mind is an impossible task either. Far from it; this unity is a mighty source of power. This unity has already been given to us as a gift through the gospel of Christ. The power of the gospel recreated us, and the power of the gospel unites us in one heart and mind. All of this is ours collectively. The Church is much more powerful than we give her credit for. But where is all this power headed? What is its end? Let's look:
[Jesus], though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God as a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed upon him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Phil 2:6-11).
This was the mind of Christ, which he gave us. Jesus humbled himself unto death. Then God exalted him. And one day every tongue will confess He is Lord, to the glory of the Father. That's powerful stuff. But I think Paul was doing more than simply explaining what Jesus did for us. It goes deeper than that. I think he is also explaining what Jesus did to us. He gave us a new mission. Jesus's purpose in his humility was ultimately God's glory. And God's glory is manifested in the praise and worship of His people. Jesus humbled himself unto death so that every tongue would confess his Lordship, to the glory of God the Father. This must inform how we understand our calling and mission. Jesus gave us this mind (his mind), and so we must use it the way he used it—for God's mission and for His glory. The two are inextricable. Once we glorified ourselves. Now we glorify God through His mission. But how do we do that with boots on the ground? Paul elaborates a little:
Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world... (Phil 2:14-15).
Not grumbling and complaining is how we proclaim the gospel together to our neighbors? Well, let me qualify that: this is how we proclaim the gospel in deed to our neighbors. We count others as more significant than ourselves. We humble ourselves before one another. Jesus did the same because it brought God glory. We are on the same mission for the same reason. But there is more to this issue; it goes down to the root of what we worship.

At this point I am starting to get a little tight around the collar because the dots are connecting into lines. And it doesn't look pretty. I begin to see that all this grumble grumble is related to self-idolatry, and that I have a problem with it.

It must come as no surprise that grumbling and complaining are rooted in an idolatry of self. As Steve Timmis said, when we grumble and complain, we are saying to God "I could have done better with this situation. You messed this one up." If you really believe that God is good and sovereign, He didn't mess up. You just think that God should be subject to your wisdom. When we complain, we exalt ourselves over God. This is self-idolatry, but with a frown. It's been happening since Genesis 3.

We are constant self-idolators, replacing God's glory with a lie that we could play God way better than God could. Adam felt the same way in the Garden of Eden. So we also inherit the same God-hating disease. I grumble incessantly to myself without even realizing it. In my heart, complaining is sometimes second nature. Well, if you want to be clever, it's my first nature. But it is a symptom of a much deeper problem, so we should recognize it as such. What good is picking the poisonous fruit if the root remains?

Thankfully, church, we have been given the cure for free. We just have to take hold of it and use it. We have been given the unified mind and heart of Christ. We were given a new heart and a renewed mind when we were saved; we have them. No take-backs. We have the power to live lives together that are shaped by the gospel for the mission of the gospel. We have the power to live in full accord and of one mind. These are things that were given to us; they are "ours in Christ Jesus." So let's take God at his promises. When we find ourselves grumbling or complaining about something, let's remember that it goes deeper than the situation around us. Remember that it is rooted in idolatry, and pray that Jesus would transform your fleshly heart and mind into conformity with his heart and mind, one that is set on God's glory. People will catch on to that mindset. And every tongue will confess...



Tuesday, January 15, 2013

If the box doesn't fit...

Over at CNN, a mother has come out with it that she raises her children "without God." It's a rather depressing read (as long as you steer clear of the comments section, which will inevitably cause foaming at the mouth), but I think it's worth a closer look. First of all, let me say that I don't think she is the only woman around (even in Texas) raising her kids without God. And many of the parents who are raising their kids with God are doing a terrible job at it, so let's not go around acting like she is a unique envoy of secular parenting—that's been going on for quite some time.

But I think it is telling of the depths of this self-idolatry problem that she lists the following reasons why she raises her kids without God:

  1. God is a bad parent and role model.
  2. God is not logical.
  3. God is not fair.
  4. God does not protect the innocent.
  5. God is not present.
  6. God does not teach children to be good.
  7. God teaches narcissism.
Go read the article, if you haven't. Her explanations of these points are critical to understanding how this fits in with self-idolatry. 

I was planning on writing a lengthy diatribe about how this woman was par-for-the-course for evil mis-informed atheists blah blah blah sinning to the core, etc. But then I realized it would mostly be a frustrated, angst-ridden response that did not flow from a secure confidence in the goodness and holiness of God in all things. So, here we are. I've started over and will only offer a couple of thoughts on how this type of thinking relates to sinners everywhere at the core of their being. This is just a more visible, divisive manifestation. First, a brief word on the state of things, and then an attempt at moving forward with the mission with these things in mind.

On the state of things: It should come as no surprise that, deep down, this type of thinking is inherently rooted in self-idolatry. Really, it's the mother of all sins. The author refuses to believe in God because God does not act the way she thinks He ought to act. Ontological critics aside, this is an attempt to fit God into a box that we have created, a space we can define (and change, when convenient). The problem is that this relationship is inverted—it is God that defines us, not the other way around. We cannot create and define characteristics and then project them onto God. God has given us the very definitions by which we try to contain Him. What it boils down to is this: we want God to act a certain way so that we can control Him. Once we control Him, then we can understand Him. This exalts the authority of self over the authority of God—it is idolatry of self. This works itself out in a myriad of ways, atheistic outrage at evil being one of those ways. 

The reality is that God can be known—though not fully—through His word, which He has graciously revealed to us. Scripture gives us a more than adequate picture of the characteristics of God. And when understood rightly, through careful study, meditation, and exegesis, it paints a picture of God that is vastly different than the tyrant that atheists don't believe in. The true gospel is radical, yes, but not radically tyrannical. It is radically loving. 

Our challenge and calling as Christians, then, is to identify these idols where they lie. But it doesn't stop there. We must also faithfully proclaim the true gospel and lovingly call sinners—atheists included—to repentance and faith. Admittedly, when I read articles like this, my first response is usually one of anger, which includes a mental process where I go through and destroy philosophically every argument that I can. This can't be our normal operating procedure. Debates and discussions can be fruitful, but only when driven by the same love that drove Jesus to the cross to save atheists and everyone else that would repent and believe. So let's start there. The changing of hearts we will entrust to God, who we know is loving, fair, good, and a true father to the fatherless.






Monday, January 14, 2013

Which is more restricting?

"The ancient Hebrews had Ten Commandments, and one slim volume of commentary on those commandments. Go to the nearest law library and ask to see the regulations that you, enlightened modern man, live under. They will show you shelf after shelf of big fat books, and the incoming regulations will, on a daily basis, far surpass the Mosaic code in volume, and what they overdo in quantity they will make up for in pettiness, hubris, and incoherence" (Wilson, God Is, p. 46).

Sunday, January 13, 2013

One more thing on those handcuffs

I want to elaborate a little bit on what I said earlier about self-idolatry and how it fits into the grand story that I mentioned a few posts back.

Since it is the customary starting point, I'll start from the beginning. Man has been entrenched in a battle of dueling idols since Adam and Eve decided to take matters into their own hands (or mouths, rather) in the Garden of Eden. It was when we first said  "No, God, we got this." And because that decision backfired on Adam and Eve, it should come as no surprise to us that this same sort of thinking has backfired on us in modern times.

The nature of worship is such that you can only worship one thing. If you have two masters, either you will love the one and hate the other, or you will despise the first and love the second. And so it goes with who or what we worship. Worship of self is necessarily at odds with worship of God.

The problem, as I perceive it, is that the worship of self has been so ingrained in our culture that we do not even recognize it as such. In fact, it is the very nature of democracy to say that the collective "man" of society will save us from our ills. We are taught these things from our youth in government schools, and they become part of our DNA by the time we are adults. The proof of this mindset manifests itself in things like hate-crime legislation, which outlaws the "blasphemy" of man in the name of justice, equality, and so forth. Now, don't get me wrong—I certainly do not believe we should hate people, or act out against people because of hate. But it is a telling sign of what we worship that blasphemy against God is "free speech" while blasphemy against certain groups of people is a "hate crime." That's just one example.

For discerning minds, we ought to look to the Bible and see a sordid history of how God's people exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped themselves. And we ought to be able to see the destruction that it caused. The answer to all of this, of course, is to repent of our idolatry and return to worshiping the triune God of scripture. But we cannot do this until we fully understand how deeply rooted our self-idolatry is in reality. Take a look around you and ask, "is this fruit of the Spirit, or is this the poison of self-worship?" Anything that doesn't begin and end with the cross of Christ and his lordship over all is poisonous. And the poisonous fruit only brings curses—the blessings come from a life lived worshiping the true God, not the god of the people.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Platinum handcuffs

The chatter on the internet is that in order to forestall another debt ceiling crisis, the President is considering minting some platinum coins, worth $1 trillion each. The idea, heartily endorsed over at Slate magazine, comes from a "loophole" in the law that allows the Secretary of the Treasury to mint and issue platinum bullion coins at his discretion. For the nerdiest among us, the relevant statute is 31 U.S.C. § 5112(k).

Basically, these coins (with an arbitrarily assigned value) would let the government "cover" its obligations without having to ask for authority to borrow more money (the government's borrowing authority runs out soon). We make the coins, and "poof!" a couple trillion in the bank. Man, that was easy.

Now, the very real possibility of the President printing these coins is cause for massive concern on a policy-making level, but the real problem lies much deeper than that. But before we go there, I just have to ask: Does anyone in charge realize the absurdity of this proposition? I would be interested to know how the President will keep a straight face while telling the nation that he just ordered the printing of a couple platinum coins, with their value arbitrarily set at $1 Trillion. "Oh, that amount averts a debt ceiling crisis (again!) and allows the government pay its bills? How convenient!" 

Back to the root issue of the thing. The back-and-forth of the politicos has centered mostly on whether this is a big power-grab by the Obama Administration. It probably is, but the thing about power is that it  is a zero-sum game. Power taken by one side is power lost by the other side. But in my estimation, neither side knows what is really going on here. What we are dealing with is self-worship to the core. Only this time, the promised utopia and equality of man's progress isn't working out like some people thought it would. This sort of thing has happened before... 

When you worship the god of self, the possibility of real failure is the humanist equivalent to blasphemy. "Yes we can!" Even more, when you exalt the deity of self, only you can offer salvation. And when it looks like you will not be able to save yourself, things get really interesting. We start doing things like minting $ 1 Trillion coins to cover our decades of idolatry. All this to say that we are seeing the failure of the self-made idols that we have erected over the past few decades. There needs to be some real repentance going on, but not before we see the utter idiocy of our ways. 

We have squandered our wealth, have been poor stewards of our resources, and now we think the same kind of behavior will get us all out of this mess. I don't think so. The real problem is that the gods of our society will not admit their falsehood; they are not amiable to the idea that they must submit themselves completely to Jesus Christ as Lord. And so they mint away, storing up judgment for themselves. 

A similar story happened in Jeremiah 9. The Israelites wondered why Jeremiah prophesied impending judgment. Didn't he know that they had wisdomwealth, and might? Surely the wise would provide political advice, the mighty would fight the battles, and the wealth would finance them forever.  So they responded to the prophet with indignation, and while they mourned their circumstances, they looked to themselves for salvation. The wise man boasted in his wisdom, the strong man boasted in his strength, the rich man boasted in his strength, and the politicians boasted in their bipartisan deal-making. None would repent, and so their wisdom, strength, and wealth became to them as shackles.

This is the true test of an impenitent heart: Do you mourn your adversity but not your sin? The sin is the root of it all. And turning to anywhere but the cross of Jesus Christ for salvation is futile. It happened to Jeremiah's nation, and it's happening to ours now. These stories aren't new.


Thursday, January 10, 2013

Scratch your head and laugh along the way

I want to take a quick moment and explain my purposes here. First, the blog name. Why is it called "Radicem?" Well, Google tells me that radicem is Latin for "root." And I believe that, at the root, everything is connected by truth—specifically the truth of the Lordship of Christ over the entire universe. And because He has spoken to us about these things, I want us to listen, wherever His voice may be found.

More broadly, though, I want to use this blog as a platform to sharpen my thinking and develop my writing skills as it pertains to truth-finding. Rarely will people tolerate my soap-boxes in civilized society, so this will be a place for that too. I might even throw in a short story or series of poems. You never get better at writing overall unless you practice with your worst type of writing. In other words, I like blogging, so I should probably practice my short story form. And then I'll move on to poetry; it's all connected somehow.

In the end, I hope this blog serves to teach, to encourage, and to challenge people in their thinking. And, I hope you'll scratch your head and laugh along the way.


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Sinners Prized



As sinners we’re prized by both the Father and the Son,
Who saved us from our sin, (1 Peter 1:3)
and by the Holy Spirit,
who continues to refine us from within. (Ezekiel 36:24-29), (2 Thessalonians 2:13-14)

He bought us with his life
at such a great a cost; (1 Corinthians 6:20)
And is resolve in his intention,
both to seek and save the lost. (Ezekiel 34:16)

He pursues our hearts unceasing (Jeremiah 31:3-4)
with an everlasting love,
and displays his steadfast faithfulness,
while strengthening from above.

What’s God’s will for you?
It’s clear;
That you’d be sanctified. (1 Thessalonians 4: 3)
But that won’t be finished (Philippians 1:6)
until he comes back for his Bride.  (Revelation 21:9)

So let us grow in godliness,
Just as He intends,
And find assurance we’re equipped (Hebrews 13:20-21)
by the spirit that He sends. (Galatians 4:6)

The Spirit that He sends
comforts our wandering souls; (Ephesians 3:16)
A reminder no time escapes,
when He’s not in control. (Colossians 1:15-20)

With that, we’re free to live, free to live without the fear;
His approval comes from trying our very best;
It is only through His finished work,
where we can find true rest.

By the Spirit we’re assured
no longer do we walk like we used to.
We’ve put off our former lives,
and clothed ourselves anew!  (Ephesians 4:22-24)

This is how He views us:
Perfect, spotless, pure. (Ephesians 5:27)
The spilling of His crimson blood, 
has made forgiveness sure. (1 John 1:7)

Our approval was signed and sealed;
Sealed by His blood. (Romans 5:9)
It washed away our sin;
Oh sweet crimson, cleansing flood! 

Prized amid our sin,
What a tragically beautiful thought.
Let us rest in His finished work,
and praise Him as we ought.

Extremism

If you haven't read Doug Wilson's blog, I suggest you do. And then read his books.

One thing I appreciate about Doug Wilson is his willingness to take extreme stances on just about everything. His speaking engagements and lectures often have throngs of protestors holding flags and waving signs, proclaiming the outrageousness of his ideologies (when the tolerance police start protesting, you must be doing something right). And it's true—to the outsider, Doug Wilson is extreme, or, rather, radical. This is because Wilson understands that Christ is Lord over each aspect of life and that every thought should be taken captive to Him (2 Cor. 10:5). In other words, the Bible reaches down to the root of everything. And so we become radical because God is radical. We have extreme ideals because the Bible is full of extreme ideals. It doesn't get much more extreme than holiness, which is what the Lord requires.

But Wilson, taking his cue from the same Bible, has a full and robust understanding of how grace fits into this mess. Grace is the only way to understand how we are still living in a world of such extreme standards. The Bible does have extreme standards of conduct, but we are offered grace as the way to measure up. God is holy, and He requires holiness from us. Yet only Jesus was truly holy, and He offers us His holiness as a free gift of grace, if only we repent and rejoice in Him. We pass the test, but not because we studied hard. We pass the test because someone else answered for us.

This idea is important to understand. The Bible's standard of conduct is impossibly extreme; no one can live up to it. And the standards of God's law apply to more than just "the church." They are universal in their application and exclusive in their jurisdiction. Thus, all of nature is subject to God's law and all of mankind stands under God's judgment. Mercifully, God tells us there is a way out from under all this judgment—repent and believe! (Mark 1:15).Those who do not wish to bow their knee to any other god but themselves will surely make a stink about repentance (it requires us to admit fault for crying out loud!). So as it goes, Doug Wilson is labeled an extremist and "racist, sexist, anti-gay." Is he extreme? Yes, because he has a robust understanding of the universal application of God's extreme standards to everyone. But he uses this radicalism to call people to repentance and faith in Christ, the only way to be right with God.

All of this, in the end, should serve to increase manifestly our love for Jesus. Let us look at the impossible standard of God's law, admit that we fall woefully short, and then look to the cross, where our perfect obedience was bought with Christ's blood. That is the real scandal.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Why the story matters...

The great stories of literature display truth in a sort of aesthetic way that makes your heart say "Oh, that's good." The greatest story, though, is the Truth—God's word. It forms a narrative that makes sense of life, nature, and everything in between. It's one big story, and it's our story. That's an incredible statement, so let's think it through.

Most people in the Evangelical crowd are familiar with the Creation-Fall-Redemption-Restoration narrative that describes scripture as a contiguous narrative. Many books could be written—and I'm sure they have been written—on the creation, fall, and redemption, but I want to focus briefly on the restoration of God's people and how it fits into our tiny lives today.

In Revelation—specifically chapters 21 and 22—we see some incredible things happen to and for God's people. Those things will surely happen to us, but they haven't happened yet. We are currently living inside the story—our everyday lives are part of the story of all scripture. We share the story of Adam, of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and all of Israel. Those who are in Christ should recognize that the God who deals with us today is the same God who dealt with Israel in Exodus, Judges, and the Prophets. Our God doesn't change, and so the story doesn't change either. 

Because we are a part of this grand story, everything that happens around us is a part of that story as well. Therefore, we should look to the completed story in written form (the Word) in order to interpret the living story we find ourselves in. It's all interconnected, whether you want it to be or not. When you think about it, this has wondrous implications for how we look at our lives and the things happening in them. We already know the ending—it's guaranteed by the Spirit (2 Cor. 5:5). So let us walk in faith that the ending really is secure, that we know where we are headed. It frees us up to live confidently in this wonderful story.

It's kind of like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. Let's take each little piece and hold it up to the box cover to see where it fits. And let's be confident that on the box is a beautiful picture, even if the puzzle piece is bland. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Chaucer said it well...

Whan that Aprille with his shoures soote,
the drought of March hath perced to the roote,
And bathed every veyne in swich licour,
Of which vertu engendred is the flour.